As the population of Americans over 65 steadily grows, so does the number of adults who care for an aging parent while also caring for their children. These “sandwich generation” caregivers are stressed as they try to juggle everyone’s physical, emotional and financial needs.
The challenges vary from family to family, but sandwich generation caregivers each face the possibility of more worry and less quality time with their loved ones.
Finding more time
Linda Miller and her husband took care of her mom, Lucy, in their home for three years while raising a teenager and having an adult child living at home.
When the whole family was together, they loved to watch Arizona Cardinals football games.
“We’d all get our jerseys on and she’d be fixed on the whole game,” Linda says. “We worked hard to create good moments for her.”
When Linda’s daughter got married, the family used respite care. It allowed them to take time to prepare for the wedding and allowed Lucy to attend. Respite care staff members helped Lucy with her hair and makeup and with getting dressed for the wedding. Then Linda arranged for transportation for Lucy to the wedding in Sedona, Arizona.
“Mom got to be a part of that ceremony and my daughter got to have pictures with her only surviving grandparent,” says Linda.
Linda is the administrator at Good Samaritan Society – Prescott Hospice and Marley House in Prescott, Arizona, so she knew the value of respite care, but it meant even more to feel the impact of those services so directly.
“Knowing when it’s time to bring in help for your self-care is so critical,” says Linda.
As Lucy’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed and she needed hospice, Marley House provided her care until she passed away.
Looking for support?
Being a sandwich generation caregiver can be very rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming. If your caregiving duties have stacked up, we can help.